|The WSW HMS Royal Oak kit is like much
of the rest of that companies products, totally symetrical, well engineered
and well cast with no warpage and therefore a good starting point. Most
of the outlines are spot on, though curiously there are some inaccuracies
and omissions, more later.
|There is a rudimentary bit of PE which I usually
discard. In this instance I kept the Crane and used the basics of
the catapult as this was individual to this ship as far as I can acertain.
I used as my references; The Profile Morskie monograph of the
RO (nice drawings and sketches; very good value, photos indifferent. Of
primary use was the book by Raven/Roberts 'British Battleships of
World War Two" also known as the very expensive bible...
The first thing I did was to add/alter the checkchain plating by the
main anchor cable runs. An additional hatch was added on the foredeck between
the cables. Immediately aft of the fwd breakwater there are a number of
cable reels shown on the drawings which were not present; I used WEM pro
series items there and aft just fwd either side of x-turret. The anti torpedo
bulges were missing the various protrusions and hatches(?) shown on the
plans, these were added from self adhesive tape strips and paint circled
with pencil so as not to create a bump where none should be. The
very large gash(?) chutes fwd were reduced in height a little and thickness
a lot! beware, the resin is brittle, mine snapped off twice...! The
main turret blast bags were IMHO too full on the top surface, looking as
the if the gun was being fired(!), hence I scraped away at the top to create
a hollow and added white glue and paint on the underside to create a baggier
saggier effect, this was reinforced by painting and some pencil shading
The turrets had ladders and walkways added to them from WEM ladder stock.
The stairways and companionways between all the various bridge deck levels
were challenging to add as the deck cutouts had to be aligned fairly accurately
so that the stairs would be vertical and symmetrical. The stanchions for
the boat deck are a distinctive feature of the R-class, these were made
from very fine brass strips cut from PE scrap; the fillets top and bottom
were made from white glue to form the triangular gusset, the strengthening
ribs for the sea boat davits were also added from PE scrap. the funnel
was drilled out and the riveting lines cut in with a stanley blade. Funnel
grille was made from sprue as the supplied PE item was too clunky.
PomPoms were WEM pro series resin embellished with PE add-ons, the Carley
floats supplied were OK apart from being cast onto a wafer of resin which
can be tedious to remove cleanly and squarely so these also were replaced
with WEM items. Interestingly there were no paravanes or balsa
raft supplied or cast in place, again WEM items sharpened up with a blade
rescued the day. The masts were constructed from metal rod as the resin
items were over scale and I am always worried about warpage. Both starfish
were butchered about from the multitude supplied on the WEM Warspite/Barham/QE
Photoetch sheets. The braces underneath all the platforms were added from
PE triangles cut with scissors. There is a platform missing below the rangefinder
platform on the mainmast which was constructed from PE scrap. The
main observation bridge had wind baffle plates added from minute brass
strips. The Spotting top was a sad affair with no windows indicated;
these were added from suitable ladder stock which gave the correct number
of windows , what luck!. The wind direction indicator and anemometer gear
was fiddled together from sprue and brass bits.
|The aft mast also had a starfish constructed to suit and
the Profile Morskie drawings (some of which are duplicated in (1/700!!)
made life much easier. The range finder platform appeared to be too
thick in section and outline so a replacement was made from Brass
scrap along with the supporting structure and a new range finder tub and
canopy from alloy tube and white glue. The aforementioned catapult
is more or less right in outline but needed all the additional bracing
and pulleys added, this became a project within itself; now affixed to
ship you can barely discern all that work; is it worth it?...?
The aircraft supplied I did not like, so I scratchbuilt the plane
from wood and resin casting wafers according to the large scale drawings
in the PM book, this had struts made from cut down pieces of 1/350 Handrail
longitudinals and then rigged with sprue, the cockpit was drilled out and
a spinner made from white glue, I do not know if it is EXACTLY right but
it looks right... All the inclined stairs, ladders and companionways were
made from the WEM PE sheets, the railings were in the main GMM ultrafine
The fairleads (chocks) were made from PE O gauge railway carriage handles....
The upper yardarms in white on the mainmast were made from white
catwhisker (dropped!!) as there is then no paint buildup or danger of warpage
as there can be with stretched white sprue. Ship was painted in AP507A
overall from WEM Colourcoats, this went on alarmingly dark; great for 1;1
scale, I wanted to make the paint take on the chalky look of a ship at
sea so I washed it down in light grey and used alternating shades around
box structures to create depth and shadows, decks were Humbrol Radome
Tan dry brushed and washed with a variety of colours (see my method
in the HOW TO section)
|The sea is watercolor paper laid over cocktail sticks to
give swell. The painted and boot topped ship was mounted on a few slivers
styrene sheet; then the gap between the 'water' and the hull where applicable
were in-filled with white glue, later painted in dull anti fouling colour,
ergo lower hull showing in troughs..!! There are loads of small details
I have not mentioned that were puzzles in themselves but nevertheless added
to the challenge of this model.
I would wholeheartedly recommend this kit on the proviso that it need
extra work to realize its potential.
of Jim Baumann's work.